Ruth Negga in green pre-Oscar
Here’s Ruth Negga last night being honoured with the Oscar Wilde Award hosted by JJ Abrams and his production company Bad Robot in Santa Monica last night. As you know, she’s also nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in Loving. So, again, I ask the BAFTAs – how is she just a “Rising Star”???
Ruth is a longshot to win the Oscar on Sunday. It’s between Emma Stone and Isabelle Huppert and maybe Natalie Portman. You know my theory about Oscar fashion and the contenders. It’s the ones who have no chance of winning who make the more interesting style choices. Because they don’t have to worry about how their dresses will hold up, like, 50 years from now. That’s why Ruth is definitely going to be a candidate for Oscar Best Dressed. I wonder if Duana and I will fight over who gets to write that post.
About Oscar fashion though…
You remember #AskHerMore? And how some of the most high profile actresses were screwing up their faces when asked on the red carpet, Who Are You Wearing? And it was all an attempt to be all like, stop being sexist!
That’s not what that was about. If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you know that I was never onside with that #AskHerMore sanctimony because red carpet fashion is a business. It’s a partnership and we were reminded of that yesterday in Meryl Streep v Karl Lagerfeld. While Meryl may decline seeking payment for wearing a certain dress by a certain designer, many women ARE paid, some as much as $250,000, for wearing what they’re wearing at the Oscars. And their stylists are paid too by the fashion houses, often as much as $50,000 for putting their clients in those labels.
E! News just published an article today called The True Story of Celebrity Oscar Dresses: Rules, Politics and Why They Wear Who They're Wearing about the business – and, sometimes, the politics – of red carpet dressing with commentary from fashion experts and stylists revealing the negotiation and the WORK behind the looks. To dismiss the process and pretend that you are above it is disingenuous and it’s also unfair, it’s unfair both to the people who’ve made the look happen and to the people who actually MAKE the look.
Also, as the writer, Seija Rankin, notes, given the example of what Leslie Jones went through when she couldn’t find a designer to dress her for the Ghostbusters premiere, it’s kind of entitled. Some actresses simply aren’t in the position to be offered the best gowns in the world – AND GET PAID FOR IT. So to turn around and sigh like it’s just so beneath you to be talking about what you’re wearing when there’s so much more behind what you’re wearing? What word would you call that?
The fact is, power dressing is an advantage that actresses actually have over actors. Chris Evans isn’t making that kind of money just by showing up in a tuxedo. I’d like to hear from an actress who can actually spin that into an argument about resourcefulness. That would make for a more interesting debate.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/ Getty Images